Monday, May 14, 2018

Making use

Another one of those ideas hubby loves me for (grin.)
We have a huge cedar tree out in the side yard.
It's actually a couple of trees but looks like one big bushy tree.
Over the course of years, it has been consuming more and more of the yard.
We do like it because it blocks the view of our back yard from the road
so didn't want to get rid of it.
Also, it's beautiful and smells wonderful.
So, here's where my brainy idea kicks in.
I suggested that we clean up the bottom branches so it's just up off the ground.
Mr. LB got the little chainsaw and made his way in toward the trunk of the tree.
He cut the bottom branches all the way around.
From the outer skirt, I began to try to figure out just which branches to pull
and figured I was tugging on ones that were still attached.
Finally, Mr. LB took hold of the base of of one of the branches and walked out.
It was difficult because the branches that were in part laying on the ground
and had taken root!
In addition, there were a half dozen smaller trees that had sprouted up
with trunks 2"-4" adding to the bulk.
We got the branches pulled out and set to work on them.
Even though these are smaller, cedar makes great wood for starting fires.
It's unfortunate that our old cottonwood wasn't a better burning wood since there was lots of that.
I am making use of many of those rounds,
but we'll probably end up burning some of it which will make a ton of ash.
Maybe next winter won't be tooooo cold, because 
we are sure getting a scrappy looking wood pile.
We tend to focus on the burning qualities of trees
because it is such an important part of our lives 
and requires a great deal of time and energy.
But there are other good qualities for both of these trees.
I've used those sticky little pods that the cottonwood shed 
to infuse oil for healing balm.
It works wonderfully but does smell just like cottonwood 
in case that bothers you.
The cedar of course repels bugs and moths.
We are infusing quite a bit of oil so we can make soap with it.
We made it through a good part of the branches 
when God told us to take a break.
He kindly decided to water for us (it started raining.)
We should be able to use just about every morsel of the branches.
It rained Sunday too, and 
I didn't feel like working in the rain so it's taken a little while to clean up.
I will rake up underneath the tree eventually.
Hopefully, this will let enough light in that we don't lose more lawn.
We try to make the most of our resources and trees are pretty important to us.
I can hardly wait to use the cedar oil.
Also, since we began on the cedar tree, that other cottonwood fell
as I shared in the last post.
We've been working on getting it cleaned up as well.
One of these days, we might get a yard back.

Now I have a confession to make~
Shortly after the post where I showed my upside down tomato cages,
Mr. LB noticed them and said, "NOooo!"
Evidently, that totally bothered him last year (who knew?)
He asked why, I so I told him they tipped and didn't go in the ground even, etc.
He asked if he could try.
"Sure," says I.
Of course, he tried and one tine would promptly hit a rock.
He said he could fix them, and in no time he had a thin-cut 
and chopped the stakes/tines down to about 14"-18" from the first ring.
He went through and cut each one and put them in the ground right side up.
So now I don't look quite so much like a goof.
If you are having issues with your tomato cages, 
you might try trimming the tines.


  1. I love your description of the cedar tree. I feel like I can smell it from here...all the way in California.

    1. You are amazing! Is that a gorgeous stream I see next to the property? Delightful....

  2. I don't think I've ever seen a cedar tree. It's a beautiful tree and looks better after trimming. :)

    1. Nil, everything seems to grow where you live - I'm surprised. Thank you, I think it looks better too.

  3. The cedars look so lush. I can see why you want to keep them. They needed that hair cut. Looking good. I wonder what cedar soap might do to your skin? I love the smell. It is remarkable all how you use everything from your property.

    1. I'm not entirely certain about how it is on the skin. I will use other oils too, but I do put a couple drops of cedar oil on my dryer balls just to help ward off any little closet pests. I will probably use the soap more for laundry though Hubby is anxious to use it for showering because he loves the scent.

  4. Wow! What a GREAT tree! I'd love to have a cedar like that--and it is sure amazing you are using all of it, too. I bet that infused cedar oil is going to be A-Mazing!

  5. Isn't it amazing how much work a homestead is. When we do projects like yours my husband always points out that if we walked away Mother Nature would overtake our gardens and yard in less than three years. I wish we had cedar instead of pine. I love the thought of cedar soap. Everything looks great!

    1. My husband says the same thing! I think our season is a little ahead of yours this year.

  6. I grew up in NJ an NY. Now living in the Mojave desert. Boy do I miss all the trees and greenery. Your yard is fabulous with all the lush trees and plants. It is just beautiful.

  7. Cedar tree looks so bushy. It looks neat and nice after cutting the below branches. Love the smell of them:)

  8. Wow what a job, every thing looks so lovely. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

  9. We had the same issue the last property we lived at. Beautiful tree, but takes up a lot of space. We ended up trimming ours up where we could walk under it. It really opened everything up.
    Thanks so much for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. Hope to see you again this Wednesday.